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Group holding public listening sessions on Washtenaw County's Mental Health and Public Safety Millage

Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office
Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office
Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office

A community group is hosting listening sessions to discuss updates they hope will be made to Washtenaw County’s Mental Health and Public Safety Millage.

The grassroots group aims to field public comment on how funding from the County’s Mental Health and Public Safety Millage can be best used.

Cynthia Bodewes is the President of Washtenaw Regional Organizing Coalition. She says too much of the money has been spent on law enforcement efforts, rather than mental health resources for residents.

“Mental health crises have increased since COVID. So, it’s time to really look at that money— which is about 20 million a year— and figure out what’s the best way to spend it."

Bodewes says funding public safety can take on many forms that are often overlooked.

“Public safety is housing, substance abuse treatment, food security, all of those things that are social determinants of a healthy, happy life.”

The millage will likely be up for renewal in November, but the language of the millage cannot be updated until it’s renewed by voters.

The next listening session will be held Sunday, April 21st at 2:00pm at Webster United Church of Christ Fellowship Hall.

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Taylor Bowie joined WEMU as a reporter in October 2023.
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